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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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Ohio 35, Romney 30, America 29, Israel 25, Joe 23, China 23, Us 22, U.s. 19, Obama 16, United States 16, Florida 15, Cnn 15, Mitt Romney 13, John Kasich 9, Washington 9, Newt Gingrich 7, Syria 7, Iran 6, Lisa 6, United Nations 5,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    September 26, 2012
    1:00 - 3:59pm PDT  

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we begin with one of the states that in just 41 days could decide the presidential election, ohio, is so important both to president obama and mitt romney campaigning there this afternoon. and there's more of a backdrop than just the early autumn trees. a brand new quinnipiac/cbs "new york times" poll has the president a full ten points ahead of romney in ohio. 53% to 43%. let's begin with cnn white house correspondent dan lothian. >> reporter: joe, even though a new poll shows the president with a double digit lead in ohio, mr. obama continues to push hard in the state. it's a huge priority for the campaign according to a top aide. by our count the president has visited ohio at least 13 times so far this year. this time ahead of early voting,
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which by the w begins next tuesday. now, today the president was again selling his policies and his record in a state he says has benefitted from the auto bailout. he talked about the thousands of jobs created but also hit china and went after his gop opponent. >> he's been talking tough on china. he says he's going to take the fight to them. he's going to go after these cheaters. and i've got to admit, that message is better than what he's actually done about this thing. it sounds better than talking about all the years he spent profiting from companies that sent our jobs to china. so when you hear this newfound outrage, when you see these ads he's running promising to get tough on china, it feels a lot like that fox saying, you know, we need more secure chicken coops. >> reporter: as for the polls, traveling campaign spokeswoman
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jen pas ke says they always operate like they're five points down. they always stress there's ups and downs, there could be more downs. another point took two tries for air force one to land in bolling green, ohio. jay carney was briefing reporters on in and suddenly pulled up. they finally landed a short time later safely. the problem, bad weather. i don't think this is what the campaign was referring to when they said there would be ups and downs, joe. >> that's dan lothian reporting in ohio. mitt romney's riding his campaign bus through ohio today. with the latest poll showing he needs to play catchup, romney's trying something new. cnn national political correspondent jim acosta is following the romney campaign. >> reporter: joe, mitt romney woke up today to more bad poll numbers here in ohio on the very day he is racing across the state with a new message that can be summed up as i can feel
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your pain too. across the critical battleground state of ohio, mitt romney has been a man on a mission to connect with voters. >> my heart aches for the people i've seen. >> reporter: the message of the day was not only that he can fix the economy, it's that he can feel it. >> there are so many in our country that are hurting right now. i want to help them. i know what it takes to get an economy going again and creating jobs. >> reporter: the straight from the heart appeal is echoed in a new ad that shows romney looking directly into the camera. >> president obama and i both care about poor and middle class families. the difference is my policies will make things better for them. >> reporter: translation, pay no attention to the man in that hidden camera video. >> the 47% who are with him, who are dependent on government very much -- >> reporter: but for romney when it rains it pours. his two-day under steady showers has a feel of a race against
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time. a new poll quinnipiac finds romney trailing the president by ten points in ohio, nine points in florida and 12 in pennsylvania. an abc "the washington post" poll may explain why. 54% said they had an unfavorable view of romney's comments on voters who don't pay taxes. romney told cnn he's not worried about the numbers. >> we're taking our message to the people of ohio and across the country. and polls go up and down. but frankly you're going to see the support that i need to become president on election day. >> reporter: but he's facing some strong economic headwinds in ohio where the governor, john casic, touted his state's recovery at a romney event. >> i hope you all know ohio's coming back from 48th in job creation to number four. number one in the midwest. >> reporter: joined by gulf legend and ohio native jack nicholas, romney said the president shouldn't get a mulligan or do-over. >> now there's over $16 trillion
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in debt. if he were re-elected, i can assure you almost $20 trillion in debt. >> reporter: asked about the first face-to-face encounter with obama, when you go up against cy young, you need batting practice. hard to set expectations for your opponent any higher than that. >> that's cnn's jim acosta with mitt romney in ohio. a closer look at why romney's poll numbers seem to be slipping. let's bring in cnn's political reporter peter hamby. i enjoyed reading your article at cnn.com. >> thank you. >> give us some idea why if you will why the president is running so strong? >> the real problem for mitt romney is in the meat of the polls. he has advantage on economy, taxes, democrats rarely have advantage on, among women. couple things jumped out at me.
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this is from "the washington post" poll yesterday, mitt romney is at 50% unfave, 40% faif. barack obama 39% unfavorable, mitt romney's having trouble getting people to like him. that's a very big problem. the other thing that jumped out at me is this question of the bailout by two to one margin -- >> the auto bailout. >> the auto bailout, voters there in ohio like the bailout and said it's been good for the economy. you see this in poll after ohio poll. >> wow, those are some pretty strong numbers. you've been talking to ohio republicans. what are they saying? what are their concerns? are they afraid of losing the state? >> absolutely. do they think mitt romney's losing by ten points in ohio? no. they think the race is closer, but they do acknowledge he is losing. the problem mirrors what you hear nationally from republicans, mitt romney hasn't developed a sus tingt response to this question about the auto bailout. he said let detroit go bankrupt and then took credit for managing bankruptcy and then
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picked paul ryan as his running mate who was for the bailout. that's a consistent theme that romney doesn't have the right message. they do think they're losing. they do think because they have a strong ground game there there is still time to turn around. >> you make your point in the article that a lot of people think this thing will tighten as we get closer to election day. >> right. >> the other thing though is governor john kasich who had been promoting the ohio economic recovery even though he's a republican and trying to get mitt romney elected. romney of course has been talking down the economy because that's good for him. let's talk about that. >> yeah. that's a major complication. jim mengsed in his piece. the unemployment rate in ohio is 7.1%, in columbus it's about 6%. that's a bellwether area. stop after stop john kasich goes around the state and says ohio is booming, ohio is rocking. that gives headaches to people in washington saying hey, this conflicts with our message. there's ongoing friction and
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there has been for months between the romney campaign and their staff on the ground and the kasich people. it hasn't spilled into public view, but the article on the web you have one saying on the record, mitt romney fix your message in ohio. things are good here. you should take a lesson from john kasich. that's pretty aggressive. >> the ground game is fascinating because everybody says he has a good ground game there, but he's still being sort of outpaced by the obama campaign in a lot of ways, correct? >> yeah. the obama campaign in ohio almost their model for their grass roots effort around the state. they have over 100 offices. looks like the bush 2004. remember bush kind of staked his claim in ohio and won election with a really strong ground game in ohio. they have over 100 offices in the state. they've been embedded in the state living there for four years going deep in red territory. the romney campaign if you look
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at "the washington post" poll that came out yesterday, they have been keeping pace and contacting roughly the same amount of voters as the obama campaign has although they have about half as many campaign offices in the state. >> this likability question is really interesting also. you quote in here the former governor of mississippi, hayly barber, as referring to romney's being casework katured as a pollute karat married to a known equestrian. i thought was a fascinating and funny quote. it's a real problem for the republican challenger. >> right. governor barber made that comment during convention interview. he wasn't calling mitt romney that. he was saying he's been unfai y ly care katured. the obama campaign has been launching ads about romney's record at bain capital. and this rich guy problem for mitt romney keeps coming up. and ohio republicans know it. and that's why one reason that barack obama's winning that state. >> so the consensus really hasn't been formed, but we're
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heading in that direction? >> i still think it's a battleground. this is ohio. i talked to one person yesterday who said, look at the end of the day no matter what the polls show, the state has a traditional gop lean, the gop has a good ground game and it's still a huge battleground. and you know this might not be a 10-point race like the poll showed today. but it's going to be a two, three, four-point race in the end i think. >> that's a great assessment. thanks so much for that peter hamby. >> good to see you. find out how long it might be until the person in the seat next to you can pull out their cell phone and talk through the whole flight. with the spark cash card from capital one,
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turning off cell phones and other electronic gadgets during takeoff and landing is a major frustration for many airline passengers, but the faa is reviewing its ban on in-flight electronics. and as cnn's sandra endo reports things may change as international airlines take the
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lead in keeping passengers connected. >> and now we'd like for you to pay attention to the following safety video. >> reporter: the announcement air travelers know all too well. >> your mobile phones and other electronic devices should be turned off. >> reporter: but in this age of gadgets, some airlines have found ways to keep passengers connected. this em rits makes the trip from dubai to new york twice a day and passengers can stay connected on their cell phones almost the entire time. but when they get close to the u.s. these have to shut off. the fcc has banned the use of in-flight phones since 1991 over concerns they'd interfere with mobile phone systems on the ground. the faa has said it's concerned about electronic signals disrupting flight instruments. 20 carriers worldwide do provide inflight service with each plane equipped with its own mobile network. this air bus a-380 has been
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specially retro fitted with this system where the cabin crew can monitor connectivity. you see the satellite connection, seat connection, seat display, connectivity network and wireless connection. five green lights and then passengers are free to use their cell phones and other electronic devices. and it's safe. according to what other countries that use it told the faa in a recent study. >> we would not jeopardize anything to do with safety and risk. if i look to the future 20, 30 years for sure you'll be able to use your phone on american aircraft over the united states. i don't think that's going -- nothing's going to stop that happening. >> reporter: the u.s. government is not even considering allowing passengers to use cell phones on planes. but officials are looking into whether passengers can use devices like these to read or listen to music during takeoff and landing. american airlines pilots just started using ipads in the cockpit throughout the flight to access maps and other information. flight attendants will also get tablets to use inside the cabin.
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and consumer advocates say allowing passengers to do the same during takeoff and landing would only be fair. >> it kind of bothers consumers and passengers not so much the fact that they can't make cell phone calls, just the fact they can't use any electronic devices. >> reporter: and he worries one day on domestic u.s. flights dealing with a loud neighbor talking on a mobile phone may be the next in-flight inconvenience. sandra endo, cnn, washington. >> polls show mitt romney's support is lagging in key states. we'll talk with newt gingrich about the reasons why and what the romney campaign should do.
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in syria rebels have launched another bold attack in damascus. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. lisa, what do you have? >> hi, joe. nice to have you by the way in "the situation room." >> glad to be here. >> moving on, syrian rebels are attacking the headquarters of the military's top commanders. it's the second assault on a military facility in two days. rebels hit the building with explosives and gunfire and it would be like attacking the pentagon here in the united states. state media is reporting four guards are dead and 14 wounded. there are dozens of casualties. and check out this video of a tornado tearing across southern illinois. cnn affiliate kmoc is reporting that the storm keeled back
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roofs, damaged buildings and overturned a truck slightly injuring that driver. the weather system also brought heavy rain and hail. cleanup efforts are now underway across that region. sad news to report, legendary singer andy williams has died after a yearlong battle with bladder cancer. williams was featured in his own weekly television program on a dozen tv specials making him a household name in the 1960s, '70s and 1980s. he was best known for his signature hit "moon river." ♪ waiting around the bend my huckleberry friend ♪ >> andy williams was 84 years old. and i'm sure that song is bringing back a lot of memories for people. >> absolutely. >> what a gorgeous voice he had.
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>> really. just a golden voice. in the truest sense. he was amazing. >> yeah. sad to see and hear of his passing. >> thanks, lisa. with the presidential debate just days away, we'll talk with newt gingrich about advice he'd give to mitt romney. ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities.
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and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. the first presidential debate is one week from tonight. and joining us here in "the
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situation room" is someone who's had plenty of experience debating mitt romney. former presidential candidate newt gingrich. mr. speaker, thanks so much for coming into "the situation room." >> thank you. glad to be with you. >> want to show you poll of polls as we call it in ohio and florida. ohio likely voters 51% said they'd vote for obama. 44% for romney. and the poll of polls september 16th through the 24th in florida, 50% said they'd vote for the president, 45% for mitt romney. why do you think it is that mitt romney doesn't seem to be resonating in these critical states at least so far? >> well, i think he has three or four big challenges. one is that for a long period the obama campaign dramatically outspent romney in resiesly those states driving home their image of who romney is. the second is that the romney campaign is yet to find a thematic way of explaining
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itself and laying out in a clear crisp way the difference between romney and obama. and i think that frankly is a problem. and there's an ironic third problem. both these states have republican governors. both these governors have been doing the right things, the things mitt romney believes in. and the campaign doesn't seem to be able to pivot and say, you know, john kasich's doing the right stuff here in ohio and i want to take john kasich's model to washington because kasich is from a smaller government, less regulation, more american energy, pro-jobs. boy, if we had a guy like john kasich in the white house, look how well off we'd be? they seem to have this overly methodical model where they go out and keep saying the same thing and the world's too fluid. the world's too sophisticated for that. you've got a great governor in florida, governor scott who's done a good job, florida's coming back. you have a great governor in john kasich doing a great job. ohio's coming back. the irony is the states with the worst unemployment resemble
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obama. they're blue states. they're new york, they're illinois, they're california. places with big bureaucracy, high taxes, government employee unions and redistribution wealth. ironically he's not making the case he could make using the very examples of the states he's in. >> i want to ask you about that. realistically though do you think it's the campaign, the candidate? or is it just that people in these states like ohio for example are more optimistic about the economy and it's harder to sell the message they've been working with? >> no. look, i think it's clearly something that you can go out and communicate and do dramatically better than romney's currently doing. i think that obama in the end is the president who had gasoline price jump from $1.89 to $3.89. obama in the end a president piled up huge deficits that will cripple our children and grandchildren. look at the mess in the middle east where the president for ten
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days didn't tell the american people the truth about what happened in the death of an american ambassador. there's plenty of ammunition. but it has to be delivered in a firm systemically order way and people look up and go that's right. there's a simple test here. do you want four more years of obama? do you think this is the right direction? or do you think we need something new? i think a campaign which made that case clearly enough would carry ohio and florida by big margins. >> mitt romney was in westerville, ohio, today. i want to play a little clip of part of something he said and get your reaction to it. listen. >> okay. >> i want to bring the rates down. by the way, don't be expecting a huge cut in taxes because i'm also going to lower deductions and exemptions. >> so he's trying to combine if i take it right the tax and the deficit argument. do you think that's a little too complicated for voters? do you think that resonates? >> no, i don't think it resonates. if you go back and watch the great winning campaigns.
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they have clear, vivid, explicit sense of direction for the future. the governor's campaigning in ohio. ohio's a state that has enormous opportunity in energy. we now estimate for example that there may be 5 billion barrels of oil in the state of ohio. virtually the eastern two-thirds of the state has natural gas. the obama administration is trying to use the epa to cripple the development of this energy. governor romney favors senator hoeven's plan. there's an easy place to get john kasich in as his ally explaining why ohio should control its own destiny and why ohians should retake the lead in manufacturing worldwide. >> mr. speaker, i can sense a little frustration perhaps in your voice. if you had the opportunity to
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give some advice to mitt romney about this upcoming debate just a week from now, what would that advice be given the fact that you've debated him yourself? >> look, i actually just wrote a newsletter for gingrich productions and outlining my thoughts about presidential debates because i've watched them since the first ones with nixon and kennedy. the first ground is be who you are. you're not going to change somebody at his age who's done things very successfully. don't take advice from consultants who want you to somehow imaginely be non-mitt. my second advice is walk in determined to draw very sharp, clear lines with president obama. i frankly was startled by the ad you just showed a minute ago in which romney is in a sense embracing obama. we both care about the middle class. i don't know why he's saying that. if president obama cared about the middle class, why did the price of gasoline go to an
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all-time high? why do we have the largest debt in american history which the middle class will pay on for the entire rest of their lifetime? if president obama cared about the middle class, why have we had the longest unemployment rate? i think it's a mistake to be clever. i think he ought to draw clear sharp signs say here's where we've been under obama, here's where we go under omney. do you want obama stagnation? he's got to be in a two-on-one game and he's got to win that game. >> how hard do you think it is going to be for him to sort of turn this thing around and get himself going more in the right direction? >> i think it depends almost entirely on mitt personally. i debated him a number of times as you pointed out. most of the debates i did pretty well. the last two debates were down to life and death and we were in florida and he was in danger of losing the nomination. he came in fired up, decisive, prepared, aggressive, energetic.
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and to be honest i think he beat me both times. if he would be as direct, as assertive, as firm with barack obama as he was with me in florida, he'll win the debate going away. and within three days of winning that debate the polls will change dramatically because he'll have begun to make the case that we cannot afford four more years of barack obama. >> now i want to make the turn to congressional politics specifically the missouri senate race between congressman todd akin and senator claire mccaskill. i want to play a little clip for you of mccaskill's newest campaign ad. listen. >> on march 16th akin said he wants to abolish minimum wage. on april 21st said he would eliminate student loans. and on august 19th he said only some rapes are legitimate. what will he say next? >> now, mr. speaker, you are out there supporting todd akin. and the simple question is, how does he turn this thing around
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after his comment about legitimate rape? he's gotten a lot of republican who is have decided not to give him money. >> well. >> what's he got to do? >> first of all, senator bond is for him, senator roy blunt, the senior senator, is for him. i think you're going to see senator mint just said he's going to be for him. rick santorum is going to be in for him. governor huckaby's going to be in for him. there's no question that todd akin said a very dumb thing. and he admitted it. he apologized. he indicated he was wrong. but i pit six seconds of todd akin's dumbness against six years of mccaskill voting on the left, 71% of missouri voted against the obama care and referendum. she voted for it after the referendum. she has an f rating for the national rifle association. todd akin has an a. she has an f rating on right to life. todd has an a.
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she's voted for every big spending idea of obama's. my guess is akin is going to win that seat and mccaskill is going to be defeated. her ads are all going to be negative and attack akin and none will defend her record because in missouri she can't defend her record. >> if akin loses the senate race, how would you rate the chances of republicans to retake the senate this november? >> oh, i think we have a good chance. we have great candidates like tommy thompson in wisconsin who has won i think five consecutive statewide races. we're clearly going to win the senate race in nebraska. i think governor linda ingle is a remarkable figure in hawaii. we have likely pickups in north dakota, montana, new mexico. i think the democrats have a harder time keeping their current majority than we do picking up seats. and i think the odds are even money that we could in fact end up with majority of the senate. and frankly one of the reasons i'm so strongly for todd akin is i want to retire harry reid.
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i think harry reid is an endlessly destructive partisan figure who really needs not to be the majority leader. and i think he will cripple a romney presidency if he's the senate majority leader. >> now, a bunch of republicans as i said earlier have actually pooled their money or have not tried to lend support to fund raising by todd akin. what do you think they should do now? do you think they should start bringing their money back into the game in missouri particularly because -- go ahead. >> i was going to say, i think akin has a two-picture race. in missouri the picture is mccaskill and akin. he'll beat her if that's the choice. nationally the choice is akin or harry reid. the senate committee ought to look at that and say do you really want to lose a majority in the senate because you're not willing to support todd akin? every conservative super pac ought to say to themselves you really want to have harry reid in charge of the senate because you're not going to help todd akin? that's foolish. the ox got in the ditch.
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it's a mess. we're now getting the ox out of the ditch. it's a republican ox. it's a conservative ox. it's going to move in the right direction. on the other side you have a left wing democrat who always votes for obama who is going to make harry reid the majority leader. the choice to me to any republican in the country the choice is very simple and very direct, the country is more important than one six-second comment. akin has apologized for it. let's get over it. let's move on to the big issues. >> former house speaker newt gingrich, thanks so much. always good to see you in "the situation room." >> thank you. coming up, we'll take a look at mitt romney's new ad. he's speaking directly to voters. what's behind his message? we'll ask our strategists next. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters.
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joining me for today's strategy session are two cnn contributors. democratic strategist mary ka do na, i think you heard former speaker newt gingrich and his critique thus far of mitt romney's presidential campaign. what do you think of that, mary? >> i think newt, a brilliant guy, makes a good int. if i was a person on welfare, i wouldn't think -- or poor person, i wouldn't think obama cared about me because president obama measures his compassion by how many people are on welfare. so mitt romney is right in his new spot to say conservatives and mitt romney will measure compsion and welfare reform by how many people get off welfare and get a good paying job. it's not just as to the dignity of the welfare person. having the dignity of honest labor, but it helps the economy. it helps the other citizens.
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but i think newt made a really good point about he just used ohio as an example, but in the 17 states that elected republican governors in 2010 mid-term, every one of those 17 states, unemployment is going down. and the growth is going up at twice the rate of the national economy. >> what about the need to sharpen his message? the need for mitt romney to sharpen his message? >> i think his good advice about governor romney was romney should be romney. he's a smart guy. he thinks voters are smart. he thinks they can understand that when you reduce loopholes and deductions and you flatten the code out, you make it flatter, fairer, reduce compliance cost and voters will get that. i never underestimate the voters. when you explain medicare reform, ryan's medicare reform to them, they understand that. when it's really been explained for instance in rubio's
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three-way race with the preponderance of seniors in florida, he won. i trust voters. i think they're smart. and i think they're really fed up and sick of sound bite politics and particularly sick of destruction politics. >> maria, sound bite politics, do you think that's the problem here? >> no. that's not the problem. i do agree with newt gingrich in that mitt romney has a communications problem. he certainly hasn't been able to seal the deal or communicate what it is his plan would be. or maybe the problem is that he actually has been communicating that too well to middle class families and they absolutely object to what he's trying to do. so maybe that's the problem. maybe his problem is not communication but his actual policies. look, mitt romney's supposed strength has been the economy. he's been running for president for five years. so it's not that voters don't know him. it's that they know him too well. he has lost his edge on the economy in all of the recent polls. so voters are now looking at him to say, okay, if we don't trust him on the economy which has been the foundation for his
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platform for running for president, we certainly don't trust him on any of the other issues that are important to us. like education, like housing, like jobs. and so we don't like what he is telling us. and especially when you have the video that came out, it's absolutely devastating. so it's going to be very tough to turn this around. >> let me set that up just for a second. mary, you got a lot of attention for something you said to me right here in "the situation room" last week. let's listen and talk about it. >> many of us have been waiting for mitt romney to say this clearly and loudly, there are makers and takers, there are producers and there are parasites. i hope he doesn't just double down, quadruples down to the tenth power expo nen shlly makes this case loudly and clearly because it's the essence of the american dream. >> talking about the 47% comment that maria just referred to. mitt romney's campaign released --
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>> excuse me, joe. but she's distorted what he said there. >> okay. >> they distorted it. that clip was distorted. and that's distorted by what i meant. i didn't mean the 47%. of course if you pay into social security and you pay into medicare, that's your money, you shld get it back. what obama has done, the obama policies have done, is ensure the insolvency and bankruptcy of medicare and social security. he's hurting seniors. what romney and ryan are proposing will fulfill our promise to seniors for their retirement security. so that's -- you exempt those people out. i'm talking about the number of people who have gone on disability or have gone on welfare and i'm talking about obama gutting the work requirement on those programs. that's what i'm talking about. and i think voters are not only smart enough to understand that, they are living this life. i standby that. not the distortion of it. and i know what mitt romney means. he knows what he means and so do
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americans. >> okay. well, let's just listen to a new ad that is out now from the mitt romney campaign and see how he's delivering a new message to the american voters. >> more americans are living in poverty than when president obama took office. and 15 million more are on food stamps. president obama and i both care about poor and middle class families. the difference is my policies will make things better for them. we shouldn't measure compassion by how many people are on welfare. we should measure compassion by how many people are able to get off welfare and get a good paying job. >> so same message or different message from last week? >> i think it's -- >> go ahead. >> go ahead, maria. >> i think it's absolutely -- what it looks like is what it is. which is a little bit of desperation cleanup because he knows that in the comment that he made and again whether he
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mentd meant it or not, it looks like that's exactly what it is at his core. he's denigrating the work ethic of 47% of the american electorate. in making that ad, which i actually think is a good ad, the type of ad where you are looking directly to camera, is a good and effective ad, but only if two things are at play. number one, you're relatively unknown. which mitt romney is not. he's been running for president for five years. and americans are not buying what he's selling. and number two, if you already have a little bit of trust among the american electorate, and that's the one thing we know mitt romney has a tremendous deficit on, so i don't think it's going to be effective. >> mary, can you respond to that? but also talk about the style of the ad. is he doing something different here by trying to connect to people with that style of lookinraight ae and trying to talko the american public in that way? >> that's a very powerful ad. very powerful. it strips away all the distractions and all the bells and whistles that some media
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guys think aren't point in campaigns. it gets to the heart of the manner. she says every time around which is the middle class doesn't like romney. battleground politico just released a poll showing mitt romney enjoys a 14-point lead among middle class. and among every single issue the middle class say they agree with mitt romney. and by two to one he has room to grow. people don't know enough about what his policies are. and that ad is very powerful. sets a stark difference between them as i measure, i mitt romney and conservatives measure compassion by growing the economy, creating jobs. not increasing poverty and debt and putting more people on welfare. i love that ad. and -- >> except every single poll that comes out there says the opposite of what mary is saying. that's why this ad is not going to be effective.
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>> all right. mary, maria, thanks so much for coming into "the situation room." agree to disagree on that one. we'll be right back.
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i'm barack obama and i approve this message. romney: "it's time to stand up to the cheaters" vo: tough on china? not mitt romney. when a flood of chinese tires threatened a thousand american jobs... it was president obama who stood up to china and protected american workers. mitt romney attacked obama's decision... said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." how can mitt romney take on the cheaters... when he's taking their side?
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it may not be as high on tourists must-see list as the capital or the white house or the lincoln memorial, but anyone who's visited washington probably has seen the reflecting pool in the national mall. it's just been repaired and it's already got a problem. lisa sylvester has taken a look.
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what you got? >> hi, wolf. that renovation is completed. they fixed cracks and leaks in the foundation, but now there is a new problem. let's say this is a problem that you just can't miss. there's plenty to take pictures of in downtown washington, d.c. the lincoln memorial, the world war ii memorial. and then this. folks snapping photos of the reflecting pool. >> it's really sludge at this end. >> and what's in it. >> it's disgusting. it's not right. >> algae. >> smells like wet dog. >> my dog came home from the stream he always smelled like this. it's gross. >> the lincoln memorial reflecting pool reopened at the end of august to great fanfare after $34 million renovation that lasted nearly two years. but less than a month later the famous pool of water is full of algae. algae are simple organisms that thrive in areas where there is heat and sunlight. you have plenty of that here. the water may not look great, but it doesn't pose a health or safety hazard.
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it's really just the yuck factor. >> if it's sunny, it's really warm, it will rise to the top. on some days depending on the weather, you will see algae at the top. looks like small islands of algae. >> reporter: but why has algae suddenly become a problem? the reflecting pool was renovated to fix cracks and leaks, but it also included installing a system to draw water from the nearby htidal basin into the pool instead of natural drinking water. the renovated pool holds less water. that shallow depth is a perfect condition for algae to grow. a bit of an embarrassment for the park service. >> it's really a shame that they hadn't planned out a little better so you wouldn't have algae growing after all this time and money. >> reporter: so for the national park service, it's cleanup time. >> the filtering system is taking out a lot of it. but there is, as i say, we were surprised by the magnitude of the algae. so we're going to have to
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actually manually remove some of the algae. >> reporter: the park service won't use chemicals because the reflecting pool water can flow back into the tidal basin. a parks spokeswoman says they're adjusting the ozone levels to correct the problem. in the meantime the reflecting pool is not reflecting. >> it's nasty. >> reporter: much of anything. >> okay. so did the park service anticipate this problem? well, there is a filtering system but they didn't expect the algae to grow like crazy. the weather is starting to cool off and that should buy park officials a little bit of time to try and troubleshoot and figure things out. >> that's really nasty. >> i know. tourists come and want to take this great picture. a number of people on their lunch break coming down and wanted to see how bad it was. they said it's worse than they thought. >> too bad. thanks, lisa. iran's president ahmadinejad
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addresses new york but didn't stick to the usual script. ♪ [ male announcer ] every car we build must make adrenaline pump and pulses quicken. ♪ to help you not just to stay alive... but feel alive. the new c class is no exception. it's a mercedes-benz through and through. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services. through mercedes-benz romney: "it's time to stand up to the cheaters" vo: tough on china? not mitt romney. when a flood of chinese tires threatened a thousand american jobs... it was president obama who stood up to china and protected american workers. mitt romney attacked obama's decision... said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." how can mitt romney take on the cheaters... when he's taking their side?
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...and we inspected his brakes for free. -free is good. -free is very good. [ male announcer ] now get 50% off brake pads and shoes at meineke. you're in "the situation room." happening now iran's controversial president takes the stage at the united nations one last time. but spares the world his usual jabs and bombshell proclamations. is it an attempt to try to go out as a stasman? plus, president obama and mitt romney go head-to-head in a state neither one can afford to lose this november. you'll hear from both of them live in minutes. and is the pentagon getting too cozy with hollywood? why some say the latest military films reveal too many national secrets.
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welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off. i'm joe johns. and you're in "the situation room." there were empty seats and walkouts at the united nations today ahead of what was expected to be a fiery offensive final speech from the provocative iranian president ahmadinejad. but while some of the usual rhetoric was there, this year's speech had a very different tone. cnn foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty is in new york with the latest. jill. >> reporter: well, joe, it's not what some people expected. it was short on threats, but on bl
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somadinejad delivered his sn to the u.n. general assembly. >> translator: the curorldre w order is discriminatoran based on injustice. >> reporter: he did manage to work inome o his standard refences to israel. >> translator: continued threats by the uncivilized to resorto military action against our great nation is a clrame of this bitter r: but there were of his usual bombshells. >> transtor: i do not believe that mlims chrxtian, jews, hius, budists and others have ablems amo themselves or are hostile ait eaother. >> reporter: ineathe iranian presidentwned the mantle protector of the world's ssed >> translator: policies of the world'main centers of pwer minationnd e conquering of of
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others. these centers only see supremacy and not in favor of peace d definitely not at the rvice of their nations. >> reporr: without naming names of countries or politicians, he even took a ipe ele aion campaig funding. >> translator: despite what big poca parts claim in the capitalist countries, the money that goes into election cas sually nothing but an investment. >> reporter: in the cross hairs of the israel for his country's nuclear program besieged by crplineconomic sanctions, the target of protesters on the streets outside of the u.n., mamuod ahmadinejad still grabbed the world's attention by not aktsing out.
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>> it's almost like an international television show, a kim kardashian figure and makes these bombastic statements even though he doesn't really hold authority to do anything. but he loves the media. he loves attention. >> reporter: ahmadinejad's milder tone didn't convince the u.s. its diplomats boycotted his speech citing his comments this week on israel and adding that it's particularly unfortunate that he had the platform at the u.n. general assembly on the jewish holiday of yom kippur. >> jill, i'm hearing secretary of state hillary clinton had a packed schedule today. >> reporter: we got the list. it's quite astounding. there were about 38 meetings, one-on-one meetings with world leaders. some scheduled. some have already happened. it's really quite astounding. and it's only wednesday. >> cnn foreign affairs
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correspondent jill dougherty. thanks for that, jill. you may have heard warnings an espionage war is potentially being waged against the united states. and according to top lawmakers, it's a battle the country is losing. the country ruled out top cyber chief to address those concerns today. cnn intelligence correspondent suzanne kelly was there. >> mieblgs daniel gave a pretty candid assessment of the problem today. this comes as there are rumblings that the president is getting ready to issue an executive order on cyber security in light of congress failing to pass legislation on this issue. daniel addressed an intelligence forum here in washington and laid out the administration's concerns and their approach. take a listen. >> we're getting to the point where we're rapidly approaching $10 trillion being exchanged over wired and wireless networks each year. and that's just growing. in fact we've reached the point where pretty much if you shut down the internet, you shut down the economy. >> scary words there. with the threat of hackers atcking banks, credit card
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companies stealing research and development from u.s. businesses and of course what are they doing about it? well, take a look at the top priorities for the administration for cyber security right now. securing the federal networks, making sure the department of defense, department of homeland security things like that are safe, protect critical infrastructure and quicker response to attacks making sure they know something is under attack and, number two, able to defend it quickly. the executive order which john brennan said was being considered would presumably address some of those shortcomings between government and the private sector. particularly important the government wants to make sure the companies that own and operate critical infrastructure are taking appropriate measures to keep things like the water supply, the electric grid, the air traffic control system safe from a cyber attack. >> well, do we know what the hangup is? this certainly does seem like the kind of thing congress would know they have to do pretty quickly. >> it seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? yeah. there is a bill that was passed by the house but it did hit
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snags in the senate. the sticking point really now is over the burden on business. should they be required to share information with the government if the government is helping identify and ward off these attacks? and if they share that information and the government sees something else that doesn't look right, would they have any reliability protection from that being used against them? that's the big rub really. but according to to mike rogers who chairs the house intelligence committee, the bill may not be dead just yet. >> it may be coffering or sputtering, but it is not dead. i believe we can come to an agreement on the language in this much narrower bill and then come back after the first of the year to do the other things that may be difficult to get done legislatively. >> right. so, joe, if an executive order is issued soon, it would likely be a stopgap measure until congress can get its acting to and pass legislation on this. >> suzanne kelly, thanks so much. >> pleasure. in syria a stunning death toll. one opposition group says it now tops 30,000 people since the
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fighting began more than one year ago. today explosives and gunfire rocked damascus in a rebel attack on the syrian equivalent of the pentagon. bill neilly is getting access in one side of the country. >> reporter: in one city this would be bad enough. in three it's a disaster. but this is now the reality in the three main cities of syria. the regime's troops fighting rebels for control of whole districts. aleppo is syria's biggest city and business capital engulfed now in the business of war. the damage is extraordinary. the death toll inkal campbell. syrian troops are on the offensive in the country's third city, homs, recapturing many
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areas from what they say are foreign fighters and extremist muslims. rebels they say directly armed by arab states. in one district they took they showed us what they said was an abandoned rebel headquarters. bags with saudi arabian markings scattered around. a makeshift scaffold with ropes and a meat hook was there. they said rebels tortured and hanged people here. we have no way of proving is. the u.n. mostly accuses the regime of mass torture but says rebels are guilty of human rights abuses too. but it's clear this is a dirty war here in homs and in every city. no one is safe. no faith is spared. christian churches and muslim mosques are battleground. but one man is an optimist, the new governor of homs, syria's
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third city. these rebels he says will be beaten and we'll win the war in homs in one month. >> reporter: one month, that seems very optimistic. one month he insists. but britain and america should stop supporting terrorists. they are his masters words. throughout the interview explosions echo across the city. explosions too in syria's capital city today. one at a military base. bombs smuggled inside and detonated by rebels. here too troops crack down on rest of areas with brute force. three cities, one war, tens of thousands dead. and at the united nations complete failure to stop it.
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itv news homs. >> and we just got word from rebel groups that 298 people died today across syria. most of those in damascus and its suburbs. the battle is on in ohio. president obama and mitt romney both getting ready to speak live from a state they can't afford to lose. we'll bring you both rallies in minutes. plus, a terror suspect attempts to stop his extradition to the u.s. eight years after his arrest. ahead, how his legal team has outmaneuvered prosecutors again and again. ♪ [ male announcer ] every car we build must make adrenaline pump and pulses quicken. ♪ to help you not just to stay alive... but feel alive. the new c class is no exception. it's a mercedes-benz through and through. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services.
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instantly recognizable terrorist suspects in britain. abu hamza is a veteran of afghanistan, a preacher of jihad and almost a constant thorn in the side of british authorities for more than a decade. now though his attempted extradition to the united states has faltered at the last minute. he brazenly boasted about his terrorist ideology on the streets of london. abu hamza used this road as a pulpit to spread hatred and insight violence. eight years after his arrest he is staging yet another last-minute legal attempt to twhart his extradition to the united states. he's accused of running a terrorist training camp here in oregon. and orchestrating a kidnapping of western tourists in yemen in 1998, which left four dead including lawrence whitehouse's
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wife, margaret, shot as she helped another wounded hostage. >> it would have been good for him to stand trial in britain, but i think the u.s. authorities have evidence relating to the phone calls that occurred in the yemen between the 26th and the 29th of december 1998. and such evidence doesn't seem to be admissible in british courts. >> reporter: abu hamza has already been convicted of other terrorist actions in britain, but four other men extradited at the same time having never been convicted of anything. it's been almost a decade since abu hamza preached his fiery sermons outside this north london mosque. since then he and other terrorist suspects have been fighting extradition to the u.s. without ever being able to answer the charges of which the americans accuse them. some have been detained longer than anyone in british legal history without facing a jury.
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this case is especially controversial, he's never set foot in the u.s. he's accused of raising funds for terrorism via website hosted on a number of servers including one temporarily in the u.s. another man also accused of helping him. his brother says he suffers fromsfrom autism. >> half take place in solitary confineme confinement. someone who's never been to the united states is terrible. >> reporter: the family has an unlikely ally in david birmingham, one of the so-called not west three accused of fraud related to the enron scandal. he too was extradited under the controversial 2003 extradition act which requires no prima facie evidence to be presented in britain before extradition to the u.s. >> why are they not being tried here? why are we subcontracting our
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criminal justice system to the united states of america? >> reporter: there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the men in the uk. it's still not clear if ab abu hamza's last ditch attempt to avoid extradition will be successful or if his trial in the u.s. is now just a matter of time. if the extradition of these men does go ahead, it could see several high profile terrorist cases taking place even though the links to america are tenuous at best. fed up with anger boiling over today as they send the politicians an unmistakable message about agony. baseball. those years were crazy. so, as we go into this next phase, you know, a big part of it for us is that there isn't anything on the schedule.
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those protests against economic austerity measures in spain and greece turned violent. lisa sylvester's monitoring some of the other stories in "the situation room" right now. lisa, what do you have? >> hi, joe. first to athens where authorities say demonstrators through molotov cocktails on a square outside the country's parliament building. police responded with teargas. there are no immediate reports of injuries. this comes a day after police reportedly used clubs and rubber bullets to keep thousands of protesters away from the country's parliament building in madrid. 28 people including two police officers were reported injured in those clashes. and two senators are demanding answers about security concerns at the u.s. diplomatic office in benghazi, libya, leading up to the attack that killed ambassador chris stevens and three other meamericans. members of the senate foreign relations committee have sent a
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letter to secretary hillary clinton cite about concerns of threats there. a preliminary settlement requires the university of california to pay $30,000 to each of one of 21 protesters hit by pepper spray from the university police during occupy demonstrations at uc davis last november. a copy of the settlement puts aside additional funds for the plaintiff's attorneys and protesters arrested during this incident. now turning to a lighter moment on the campaign trail today. at a campaign stop in ohio puic presintial candidate mitt romney was joined by mike row, the host of the di"dirty jobs" he spoke about his appreciation for jobs that most people don't want and his appreciation for meat most people don't want as well. take a listen. >> you'll be pleased to know, ohio, that you do in fact have a road kill cleanup division. and they are excellent at what they do. you'll also be pleased to know
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the road kill itself here in ohio is second to none both in volume and variety. >> okay. obviously having a little bit of fun. i do wonder a little by how would he know that. >> i'm from ohio. and i can tell you i've seen a lot of road kill in ohio. but i think it's much better in pennsylvania. >> the road kill in pennsylvania's better. how would you know that, joe? you're not sampling the stuff. >> something about road kill and presidential campaigns that doesn't work anyway. >> exactly. >> that's another story. thanks, lisa. the presidt and his rival are staging dueling events today in the most important battleground state on the map. the only nastier thing than the election may be the fight over football's replacement refs. are the league and its referees ready to play nice? in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history.
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so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪ and the next great idea could be yours. romney: "it's time to stand up to the cheaters" vo: tough on china? not mitt romney. when a flood of chinese tires threatened a thousand american jobs... it was president obama who stood up to china and protected american workers. mitt romney attacked obama's decision... said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." how can mitt romney take on the cheaters... when he's taking their side?
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i think we can say there's at least one thing both candidates agree on, the nfl's replacement refs aren't getting the job done. and it's high time the league and the referees union came to an agreement. cnn's brian todd is watching the negotiations closely and joins me now. brian. >> joe, there are conflicting reports right now over whether the referees and the nfl have reached a deal or not. espn citing a source familiar with the talks reports an agreement in principle is "at hand." but sports illustrated peter
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king reports a deal is not imminent. that comes from one official who got an e-mail from the referees union. either way if a deal doesn't get done soon, the players themselves may take action. if you think fans are mad about the nfl's replacement referees, try the players. the green bay packers who lost on a wild call at the end of their game against seattle apparently discussed drastic measures on the way home. t.j. lang told wxyt about a potential plan. >> there was talk is there anything we can do go on strike or not play games, go out and have an agreement to snap the ball and take a knee. >> reporter: the head of the nfl's player association doesn't think it's in the players or the fans interests to do that. no immediate response from the nfl itself. former washington redskins tight end now a host for d.c. radio station espn 980 says a players
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protest could backfire. >> i think you got to let it go or it's going to carry over into the next week. it's unfortunate what happened to green bay, but it happened. and it's over. and you can't reverse it. >> but there's no question the nfl has gotten to a point of a public relations nightmare with the replacement refs that few if any anticipated and overriding concern now the safety of the players. some believe outright chaos has broken out on the field, cheap shots, coaches trying to intimidate the replacement refs. walker also walks the sidelines. >> they have lost control of the game. it looks like the '70s. when i got into the league, cornerbacks could beat a receiver up all the way down the field. i watched philadelphia and baltimore. and it looked like an episode of oz out in the yard of a prison. >> reporter: former nfl referee jerry austin now a rules analyst for espn's "monday night football" says the labor dispute
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has to be solved to get the focus back to where it should be. >> what is everybody talking about? >> here's the nfl's leverage. the tv ratings are stratospheric. today the nfl said its telecasts ranked one and two in viewership among all tv programs last week. that nfl games topped the ratings in all 30 local markets. that's the first time that's ever happened. the cbs game between the houston texans and the denver broncos, joe, i'm going to throw this out. guess what the number was? >> i'm scared. >> 24 million viewers. >> that's ridiculous. >> it's riridiculous. people are watching. it may be the train wreck effect. watch for the referees debacles. but they're watching. >> for sure. the interesting thing too is we're starting to see perhaps the ping lumbar swinging back now. the coaches taking heat for the replacements.
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>> coaches areeally feeling it today. patriots coach bill belichick fined $50,000 for grabbing at an nfl ref right after that baltimore-new england game on sunday night. kyle shanahan, redskins offensive coordinated fined $25,000 for verbally abusing a ref after the loss to cincinnati. coaches are feeling pressure as they always do. this is coming to a boil every week now. i think they're very eager to get this done. >> that's for sure. brian todd, thanks so much for that. >> sure. brown residue in the water, roach traps in a food cabinet. ahead, the appalling sanitary conditions that earned a popular cruise ship a rare failing grade. plus, heated legal battles over voting rights gripping much of the country. what it could mean for early voting about to get underway in a number of key battleground states. i had pain in my pelvic area... and bleeding that wasn't normal for me. she said i had to go to the doctor. turned out i had uterine cancer, a type of gynecologic cancer.
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i received treatment and we're confident i'll be fine. please listen to your body. if something doesn't feel right for two weeks or longer, see your doctor. get the inside knowledge about gynecologic cancers. knowing can make all the difference in the world. and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's pne are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well.
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he was saying things i wish i could hear. things i had never heard -- >> we're waiting for some live events here in "the situation room." right now you're looking at a live picture at kent state university in ohio just north of akron, ohio. expecting the president of the united states to appear there and speak. earlier today he spoke at boling green state university. not too far away. mean white mitt romney, the republican challenger, attending a rally in toledo, ohio, he's also expected to speak. we'll bring that to you live as it happens. election day is officially 41 days away. with early voting kicking off tomorrow in the key battleground state of iowa, some americans are already making their voices heard. and for states that have been embroiled in heated legal battles over voting rights, that
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means a frantic scramble to get people registered. here's a clip from my upcoming documentary. it is a bill that makes 80 changes to florida's election law. one change makes registering voters harder for community groups who typically reach out more to minorities. these groups now must turn in registration forms within 48 hours or face thousand-dollar fines. false registration can lead to higher fines and up to five years in prison. >> accountability hurts. it's never comfortable. >> another change sharply reduces early voting days, which are more popular with minorities than with whites. >> just look at the rules and play by the rules. >> and still another forces some people who move to vote provisional ballots which more often affect minorities and students. >> one of the things i think was really going wrong is the opportunity for local elections to be displaced or stolen by
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just people coming in and moving their address. >> all of this in the name of preventing voter fraud. >> every single time this fraud is allowed to occur in florida, your right to vote and my right to vote is degraded. >> bill 1355 is going to create an undo hardship on minority voters in the state of florida in addition to the elderly, poor and rural voters who will also be disadvantaged by it. >> if we have a razor thin election in florida and florida's votes are decisive for the electoral college outcome, then these changes in the rules could determine who the next president is. >> you can see my entire documentary called "voters in america who counts" on sunday october 14th at 8:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. for years the letters ied have been part of our vocabulary of war. now the bombs which have claimed so many american lives are a threat to a different group of soldiers in afghanistan. but the threat is exactly the
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same.
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as the war in afghanistan winds down, the troops on the front lines are changing. but the threats remain much the same. namely ieds, the bombs that have been the bane of the u.s. forces in iraq and afghanistan for more than a decade. cnn's anna kor rin looks at the challenges for afghan troops. >> reporter: joe, the alarming rise on green on blue or insider attacks as they're known on u.s. and coalition forces, the military here has decided to fast track the transfer of power to afghan forces. now, we visited a base in one of the most dangerous parts of the
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country and foundhat the afghan forces were now in complete control of all operations. about the dusty plains in southwestern afghanistan, a military crew flies. a trip once made by road now too dangerous because of all the ieds planted daily by insurgents. this used to be home to more than 1,000 u.s. marines, but only 28 remain. the drawdown here is in full swing. and the transfer of power virtually complete. >> we're concerned with the drawdown that there would be a step back in progress, but the ana has taken a step forward. >> reporter: the man now in charge from the afghan national army or a.n.a. he controls 5,000 soldiers in some of the most dangerous territory in the country. and he's just been briefed on a possible ied.
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>> there's an ied out by the police station. >> reporter: the marines hand over a block of c-4, a military explosive. there was a time when the americans would have been leading this operation. now the afghans are in complete control. the general takes us in his humvee to the suspected ied three kilometers away. who reported the ied? >> the police. >> reporter: the police? >> uh-huh. >> reporter: how did they find it? armed with a metal detector, a drag rope and detonators, a bomb disposal team leads us to the location. we walk in single file in case any other ieds have been laid on the road. recently the taliban have been planting ieds that are almost impossible to detect because they contain little if any metal. a sign the enemy is becoming much more sophisticated. lieutenant mohamed is leading this operation.
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the 30-year-old who oearns less than $300 a month tells me, i do this because it's my job. i'm prepared to lose my own life, but i don't want other people to die. at the beginning of the year the afghan army had no idea how to diffuse an ied other than to shoot it or set it on fire. now with the right training and equipment they have the skills to disable these deadly devices. after 20 minutes, the soldiers determine the site is clear claiming the taliban either removed it once it had been reported or a local took the ied to claim the $100 reward. in the last few months there have been alarming reports of the taliban returning and even overrunning checkpoints. the taliban are a resilient enemy and constantly trying to infiltrate the ranks. while there have been no insider attacks by the men under his watch, he says all commanders
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must be vigilant. we are in a very dangerous war against terrorists, an enemy that doesn't hesitate using anything to harm us. the true test for the afghan soldiers is whether they can maintain security on their own once the u.s.-led coalition leaves. a mission the general believes his men will live up to. now, joe, as far as the u.s. marines are concerned, they just want this war to be over so they can go home. that is really the general consensus of all u.s. and coalition forces. now, joint operations and trading is still underway in certain parts of the country. but it really is being wound back. there is a feeling the afghans need to stand on their own two feet and look after their own country's security. joe. >> let's get straight to president obama speaking at a live event at kent, ohio. it's kent state university. just started speaking. >> we believe in a country where
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hard work pays off. where responsibility's rewarded, where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody's doing their fair share and everybody plays by the same rules. we believe in america where no matter who you are or what you look like or where you come from or who you love you can make it if you try. that's what i believe. that's why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states of america. [ applause ] now, i've said this before and i will say it again, the path i'm offering is not quick or easy. the truth is we've had problems that have been building up for decades. jobs being shipped overseas. paychecks shrinking even when the cost of everything is going up. so for the last four years we've been working to start restoring that basic bargain that says if you work hard you can get ahead. but we've got a lot more work to
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do. i love you back. [ applause ] but i want especially the young people to understand you should feel confident about our future because our problems can be solved. our challenges can be met. we still got the world's best workers, the best businesses, the best scientists, the best researchers, the best colleges and universities. so there's not a country on earth that wouldn't trade places with the united states. but we've got more work to do. and the path i'm offering even though it's harder, it's going to lead to a better place. and in case some of you missed the convention or only watched michelle and didn't watch me, i
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understa understand, let me repeat the plan that i put forward. practical, specific five-point plan to grow our middle class, create strong jobs here in ohio and around the country and lay a stronger foundation for our economy. first thing is i want to see us export more jobs -- export more products. excuse me. i was channelling my opponent there for a second. [ applause ] i want to see us export more products and outsource fewer jobs. you know, my opponent several years ago said let's let detroit go bankrupt. and when he said that, he was
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talking about one in eight ohio jobs, businesses in 82 out of 88 ohio counties that count on the auto industry. and so we said, no, this may be hard and it may not be popular, but we're going to bet on american on american workers. [ applause ] >> we're going to bet on american manufacturing. and you know what? today the american auto industry has come roaring back with nearly 250,000 new jobs. [ applause ] >> so so now you've got a choice. we can give more tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas. don't boo. vote. or we can reward companies that are opening new plants here in ohio, training new workers here in america. creating new jobs here in
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america. because we've been working on it you believe me. we don't just talk the talk. you know, my opponent's been spending a lot of time in ohio lately. and he's been talking tough about china. he says he's going to take the fight to them. he's going to go after the cheaters, he says. now, i've got to admit that the message he's delivering now is better than the one that he was delivering all those years he was profiting from investing in companies that were shipping jobs to china. when you hear his new found outrage, when you see those ads he's running promising to get tough on china, it's sort of like the fox. >> a rare slip of the tongue there for the president of the united states. but a very quick recovery, saying, "i want to see us export more jobs." he corrected himself, "i mean export more products excuse me"
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in that quick recovery i was channelling my opponent" mr. obama said. we now hear from mitt romney campaigning in ohio right after this break. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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we just heard from president obama in the buckeye state. now mitt romney speaking live at a campaign stop in toledo, ohio. let's listen in. >> i believe in free people pursuing their dreams. i believe in freedom. [ cheers ] >> now, of course, government has a role.
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we have people that are hurting. we have people who are disabled and people who are poor. they need our help. and they receive our help. we're a charitable people. no nation on earth is as charitable as the people of the united states of america. and so we're going to help those that need our help. we're a compassionate people. at the same time we're going to insist that these people have the opportunity for work if they can carry out work if they're able-bodied. [ cheers ] >> because we are not going to create a society of dependence on government. [ cheers ] >> look, this president has put us on a path to become like europe. [ audience boos ] >> europe doesn't work in europe. i don't want it here. i don't want a government that gets larger and larger, that has huge debts like that. i don't want an america where we
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have chronic, high unemployment year after year after year, where there's no wage growth. do you realize what's happened to the income of the median family in america? their income has gone down every year for the past four years. it's come down some 8.2%. i believe the number is under the obama years. think about that. american families are having a hard time. incomes are down. at the same time, the cost of food is up. the cost of electricity is up. the cost of health care is way up. the cost of gasoline is doubled. the american family, middle income families, are having a hard time. look, i know the president cares about america and the people of this country. he just doesn't know how to help them. i do. i'll get this country going again. [ cheers and applause ] >> now, i have confidence in our future.
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i recognize that america's going to come roaring back. if we re-elect president obama there's no question in my mind we'll face four more difficult years. if instead if -- no, instead when i become president -- [ cheers ] >> -- we're going to get this economy growing again. we're going to do the things that ignite this economy. those five things i describe will get america's economy going again, will help people find jobs that need those jobs. we'll get take-home pay to come up again. this is not a mystery. we know how to do it. america has faced challenges before. when we have strong leaders, when we have people who know how to lead and will lead we can get it done. and i am and we will. [ cheers and applause ]
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[ mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt mitt crowd chanting ] >> i believe in america. and i believe in you. i believe you're going to help me win ohio. i'll tell you that. all right. we love this country. we know what it stands for. we know the power of freedom. we take very seriously the declaration of independence and the constitution.
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>> mitt romney appearing right now in toledo, ohio before an absolutely raucous crowd there, telling the crowd getting applause for the line "i know the president cares about the people of america he just doesn't know how to help them and i do." >> happening now, mitt romney and the president battle for ohio as a new poll shows -- demands the president answer some questions about terrorists in libya. nasty high seas. a cruise ship packed with health concerns. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm joe johns in "the situation room." just moments ago we saw the latest chapter in the all-out battle for ohio. both president obama and mitt romney wrapped up campaign events in the all-important
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swing state where a new poll shows things are swinging the president's way. national political correspondent jim acosta is following the romney campaign. >> reporter: joe, mitt romney just got this crowd here in toledo, ohio roaring by saying confidently he will be the next president of the united states, even though he woke up this morning with some more bad poll numbers in ohio. he has been racing across this state with a new message that can be summed up as "i can feel your pain, too." >> across the critical battle ground state of ohio, mitt romney has been a man on a mission to connect with voters. >> my heart aches for the people i've seen. >> >> reporter: the message of the day was not only that he can fix the economy, it's that he could feel it. >> there are so many in our country that are hurting right now. i want to help them. i know what it takes to get an economy going on and creating jobs. >> reporter: this straight from the heart appeal is echoed in a new ad that shows romney looking
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directly into the camera. president obama and i both care about poor and middle class families. the difference is, my policies will make things better for them. >> reporter: translation. pay no attention to the man in that hidden camera video. >> 47% are with him who are dependent on him very much who believe that they're victims. >> reporter: for romney when it rains it pours. his two-day ohio bus tour under steady showers at times has had the feel of a race against time, a stunning new poll from the "new york times" cbs news and quinnipiac romney trailing. romney told cnn he's not worried about the numbers. >> we're taking our message to the people o ohio and across the country. and polls go up and down. frankly you're going to see the support they need to become president on election day. >> reporter: throughout his ohio trip romney has accused the obama administration of failing to crack down on what he's called china's unfair trade
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practices. >> one of the nations that has cheated over the years has been china. >> reporter: but as a democratic superpac pointed out, one of romney's events outside cleveland was held at a factory that had sought action against china from the obama administration and got it the gop nominee is also facial some strong economic headwinds in the state where the governor, john kasik, touted ohio's recovery at a romney event. >> you know, i hope you all know that ohio's coming back from 48th in job creation to number four mber in the midwest. >> reporter: joined b golf legend and ohio native jack nicklaus romney said the president shouldn't get a mulligan or do over when it comes to controlling the deficit. >> if he gets re-elected i can assure you the deficit will be almost $20 trillion in debt. >> reporter: next week with the president, a senior romney adviser compared mr. obama to baseball great cy young saying
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that romney will need plenty of "batting practice", joe. you don't really set any expectations any higher for your opponent than that. >> jim acosta in toledo ohio. obama campaign seeing the latest polls as well. calling it a coincidence but the president's stops there sound decidedly upbeat. >> reporter: here in ohio this is the second of two events that president obama has had in this state just as these new poll numbers coming in. if you talk to obama aides, they wish that the election were today but they know it's not. in talking to -- listening to one of the spokespeople for president obama, jen sockey, she sa they'll [ inaudible ] from the people. >> reporter: president obama touched down in ohio for the 13th time this year.
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a rainy, dreary day. but make no mistake, the sun is shining on the obama campaign in this key battle ground state. polls show the president is widening his lead over mitt romney in the bucky state. the latest cnn poll of polls shows obama up by seven points. a week earlier he led by five. >> we'll win ohio again. we'll finish what we started. >> reporter: in this state where one in eight jobs is tied to the auto industry, obama's 2009 auto bailout plays well with voters. >> when my opponent said we should just let detroit go bankrupt. [ audience boos ] >> i said no, i'm going to bet on america. i'm betting on american workers. i'm betting on american industry. [ cheers ] >> and today, the american auto industry has come roaring back with nearly 250,000 new jobs. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: but perhaps the biggest plus for the president is that more ohioans are working than they were four years ago.
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melissa miller teaches political science at bowling green state university where the president rallied supporters. >> unemployment was 8.6% when obama took office. 's down to7.2 so this is one of theces where obama ca really say you are better off than you were before. having said that, the jobs numbers have stalled a bit. >> reporter: the president is vulnerable to recent attacks by romney that he hasn't been tough enough on china's trade practices, a claim that resonates with voters in this manufacturing state. wednesday obama unveiled a new counter attack. >> he's been talking tough on chinese. says he's going to take the fight to them. it sounds better than talk about all the years he spent profiting from companies that sent our jobs to china. it feels a lot like that fox saying, you know, we need more secure chicken coops. >> reporter: now president obama also -- unbeknownst to him had
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been taped and was released recently. he said when he comes to ohio he doesn't see a lot of victims, joe. and tomorrow president obama heads to another battle ground state, virginia. >> this has certainly been an interesting juxtaposition we've been watching here in the situation room, brianna. the president of the united states and mitt romney battling it out. and not very far apart in the state of ohio. thanks so much for that. we hear it over and over. no republicans won the white house without winning ohio. we talk about this year's battle for the state is cnn senior political analyst david gergen. david, you look at these two men running for the white house just about 138 miles apart in the all-important state of ohio. one thing our viewers would like to know, i think, is who needs ohio more? the president or mitt romney in this quest for the white house? >> reporter: there's no question
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about it that mitt romney needs ohio. he cannot -- it's very, very hard to see how he gets to the white house without it, joe. the road to the white house has always been through ohio for republicans, as you say, you don't win unless you get there. what mitt romney has seen is the upper midwest, michigan and wisconsin, have been moving steadily toward obama. now ohio goes. and if mitt romney were to lose ohio, he has to essentially run the tables on the remaining states. or eight other battle ground states he'd have to win every one of them by the way, he's behind in almost every one of them. >> we've seen the president with what seems like a strengthening lead there in the buckeye state. >> stunning ten points. i couldn't believe that when i read that >> yes. i know i'm from ohio. and always skeptical about big leads because it always seems to tighten. the romney people are actually saying their internals show it's a much closer race. what do you think? >> i imagine it is closer.
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i think it's closer somewhat going to tighten somewhat. but if it's ten points, that's a lot to make up in such a short time. and critical thing, joe, of course is that mitt romney at the moment has negative momentum. he's going backwards. it's not that obama's moving up so much as that mitt romney is moving backwards. as somebody said to me after that 47% republican strategist after that 47% remark it's bad enough when you don't like the candidate who's running for president. it's even worse when you learn that the candidate doesn't like you. >> right. i think the other thing that's kind of interesting is when you look at some of this polling is suggests that people in ohio are a little bit more optimistic about the economy than they were just a few weeks ago. the flip side of that is speaking with newt gingrich just a little while ago, he said mitt romney's got a problem, that his message is muddled. which one do you think it is? or how much of both? >> oh, i think that the fact that consumer confidence is rising around the country.
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we see consumer spending is up. home prices are up. things are looking a little brighter. you're seeing that effect everywhere in the country. but i also think it's true that the romney campaign has had a muddled message. in ohio, joe, there's been something else that's been going on. the automobile bailout which makes a major difference in ohio. you got a lot of suppliers as you know of the automobile industry in ohio. and that made a big difference. but the other thing is, frankly the obama team has just outplayed the romney team. they have swamped the romney team in advertising. the obama team essentially has had more than twice as many ads on television in a major metropolitan markets there in ohio. and they started early and mitt romney back in the summer while he was still coming out of his primaries and trying to get ready for the general election they were ready and they pounced on him and turned him into a corporate elitist, doesn't care,
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and he played right into it with that 47% remark. >> the story in these battle ground states there have been demographic changes over the past 20 or 30 years. do you think that's true in ohio as well? >> it remains a very predominantly white state, whiter than the rest of the country for the most part in terms of electoral sort of demographics. but the big change there, joe, there's been a growth in the minority population over the last decade of about 300,000. and about 100,000 whites have left. so that has changed the contours. and in this lt time out, president obama won the black vote there in ohio by 95%. the margin was 95%. and he won the hispanic, which is the fastest-growing group -- minority group in ohio, he won that going away as well. so yeah, the demographic do matter. but i really think it's been a better campaign by the president and the automobile bailout which they have exploited to the hit that the president was talk about it today in ohio in that
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clip we just saw. >> cnn senior political analyst david gergen, thanks so much. always good to see you. >> joe, always good to talk to you. at 28 minutes past the hour, we'll debate whether mitt romney can make a comeback in ohio. we'll be joined by a couple of ohio insiders who know the levers of political power in the state. next a new demand for the president to tell congress what went wrong in libya. ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing a stunning work of technology. introducing the entirely new lexus es.
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with liberty mutual. security, coverage, and savings. all the things humans need to make our beautifully perfect world a little less imperfect. call... and lock in your rate for 12 months. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? congressional republicans are demander more information about the attack in benghazi that killed ambassador christopher stevens and aides. joining us now to talk about the investigation is former fine assistant director and cnn contributor fom fuentes. tom, i want to read you just part of this letter. part of it says "decades after al qaeda attacked our embassies in east africa which catalyzed a
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series of events which led to the attacks on 9/11, it appears they executed a highly coordinated and well-planned attack against us again. clearly the threat from al qaeda and affiliated groups has metastasized, yet we do not appear to be learning from the past." now, you were at the fbi in 1998. what do you make of that? are we not learning the lesson from the past? >> frankly i think that's ridiculous. we've learned a lot from those lessons. but there's a much different situation here in libya than there was in kenya and tanzania in 1998. >> how so? >> you don't have a developed government for one thing. >> libyan government. >> the libyan government that doesn't have the robust law enforcement, intelligence, military forces to be able to -- just come into power. trying to deal with a few number of insurgents that are going to cause trouble no matter what. >> the people will ask, what can they do. because frankly it was the united states embassy we're talking about which supposedly is united states tear toirks at least the inside of it.
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>> right. but internationally, host country always provides the outer perimeter security. so if they failed to do that, then if there's enough people causing an attack it's going to be like the alamo. are going to be able to overwhelm an embassy or consulate. >> so you need host country help. >> you need host country along with adequate security on your part. but definitely the host country has to keep them out of the perimeter in the first place. >> another part this letter. it seems like a pre-11 mindset treating a act of war solely as a criminal matter rather than also prioritizing the gathering of intelligence to preconvenient future attacks." a pre9/11 mindset? >> that's also absurd. the government, the fbi, the cia, the mill takers all of the intelligence asset of the united states have completely been transformed since 9/11. there's a much different level of cooperation and aggressive efforts overseas to try to get to the bottom of some of these plots to interrupt them before
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they actually happen. so there's no -- whatever pre-9/11 mindset they're talking about, it doesn't exist now. and i can assure you that's just not true. >> let's talk more about the new government. what kind of problems does that pose for trying to do an investigation? >> the problem is that the host country has to be able to provide an adequate security for the people that they allow to come in. in this case the fbi. because we have americans who have been killed, american facility has been attacked. so the fbi does have investigative jurisdiction if the host country allows them to deploy the necessary number of agents and technicians to come conduct the investigation. but it also requires that some level of security be assured. we don't know that that government to what level they can guarantee the safety of the investigators as they come. so that's an enormous issue. and the other factor here to keep in mind is, here's a country whereby all accounts the majority of the population are
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very pro-u.s. they are very grateful to the united states. but an attack like this, we've seen it in our country, we've seen it all around the world. it only takes a couple dozen people with rpgs and assault rifles and a couple of pickup trucks to cause an attack. we saw that in mumbai with a dozen teenagers, basically, with grenades and assault rifles. we've seen that in other attacks. so this is not some sophisticated special forces attack that occurred. it doesn't take much, frankly. and i don't think -- i thin in some ways we give them more credit for a level of sophistication and a level of coordination that may not have been there. >> tom fuentes. thanks. always good to see you. >> thanks, joe. we're following other stories this hour which includes good news for homeowners. madonna explains the controversial comments she made about president obama in a concert just nine blocks from the white house. hey, i love your cereal there --
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it's got that sweet honey taste. but no way it's 80 calories, right? no way, right? lady, i just drive the truck. right, there's no way right, right? have a nice day. [ male announcer ] 80 delicious calories. fiber one.
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the big headliner at united nations today, iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad. >> speaking at the u.n. general assembly, the iranian leader criticized world powers for so-called intimidation and double standards in pursuing what he says is a global arms race. but after a series of highly controversial statements earlier in the week, his speech wasn't as contentious as many expected. he highlighted what he says is iran's commitment to peace and he made no mention of israel. the boy scouts of america says a new study shows children are safer from sex abuse in the scouts than they are when at home or at school. the scouts commissioned this study in response to a newspaper article alleging that since
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1970, scouting officials failed to report hundreds of child molesters to the police and often hid the allegations from parents. a sex abuse survivor suit says the boy scout study is misleading. and the latest data shows a sharp rise in new homes sales prices in august. the median price was $256,000. that is up 11% from a month earlier. and 17% over the previous year. while the number of sales declined slightly on the month, the data signals continued improvement in the housing market. and today madonna explained some comments she made at a concert earlier this week about president obama. she urged fans to vote for the president, but she did raise some eyebrows with the way she described mr. obama. take a listen. >> [ inaudible ]. >> all right. okay. so today the pop star released a
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statement saying she was being quote ironic and that she knows the president isn't a muslim. so a little backtracking there, trying to clean up that on the part of president obama. >> i've actually been to a madonna concert at that venue. >> she puts on a great show. it's just that she's wading a little bit into politics and that caught her -- >> it was almost hard to hear, though. but still it's gotten a lot of play. >> it certainly has, joe. >> thanks, lisa. coming up, right at 6:30 eastern, two of ohio's top politicians join me for a heated debate, we hope, on president obama and governor romney's battle for the buckeye state. and a little later, turning frustration into laughs when it comes to the nfl's replacement refs. does your phone give you all day battery life ? droid does. and does it launch apps by voice while learning your voice ? launch cab4me. droid does. keep left at the fork. does it do turn-by-turn navigation ?
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and nearly 1,000 improvements. introducing the redesigned 2013 glk. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional offers through mercedes-benz financial services. happening now. a new poll shows a clear leader in ohio. now two of the state's top politicians debate the buckeye state battle. a double standard in israel? we look at that country's nuclear program. and we take you inside a cruise ship where inspectors found some pretty nasty conditions. wolf blitzer's off today. i'm joe johns. you're in "the situation room." a eye-opening new poll in ohio has president obama a full ten points ahead of mitt romney in ohio. 53% to 43%.
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it isn't quite that big in the latest cnn poll of polls which averages four recent polls in ohio. doing it this way the president is seven points ahead. 51-44%. and there's a very telling number in the new quinnipiac cbs "new york times" poll. 51% say president obama would do a better job of handling the economy. only 45% say romney. for some insight on what's going on and whether romney can turn things around we're joined by ohio's former governor, ted strickland, and ken blackwell, a republican who used to be ohio secretary of state. and thanks to you both for coming in. ken, i want to start out by quoting our own peter hanby who interviewed a lot of ohio republicans today. there's a quote in here from ohio attorney general mike deline who used to be a member of the senate. the question of course is why isn't romney connecting. generally when you talk to people there's a feeling that obama hasn't done that great a
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job, but romney hasn't made the sale. he still can. but he hasn't made the sale yet. what's he got to do to make the sale? >> well, he has to show how he has a plan that will put more ohioans back to work, attract more capital investment, drop utility prices by exploiting our natural resource in ohio. that's coal. as well as natural gas. but more importantly, what he's trying to overcome now was a strategy that was used by us in 2004. that was that we decided to spend a lot of money defining kerry in june and july and august. and it made it very difficult for him in september and october. that's what team obama has done. they've defined mitt romney and they've raised the bar on him in terms of defining himself. if this is a choice election, mitt romney has to define the choice. >> ted strickland, do you buy
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this idea that president obama hasn't done that good a job? and if so, what do you account for with his by some poll estimates 10-point lead? >> well, i think he's done a good job, especially as far as ohio is concerned. i think ohio's economy is improving. people feel that, they recognize that. and it's due, i believe, in large part to the recovery act which enabled ohio not to fall ever deeper into a deep depression. and then the auto industry is a big deal in ohio. we believe one out of every eight jobs is related to the auto industry in ohio. the president took action in the face of criticism. he took courageous action. he saved that industry. and if there is one issue they think is paramount in ohio in helping ohioans decide who they're going to vote for, one single issue, i think the auto industry and the saving of the
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auto industry would be at the top of that list. >> ken blackwell, do you buy that? there's been so much said about the auto industry. does it apply in ohio the way it applies in michigan? and is there any way mitt romney can get out from under that? >> oh, yes, there is. look. governor strickland knows that they could have done this a much cheaper way and saved the same number of jobs through structured bankruptcy. many of america's businesses have done this. they've preserved jobs and they've moved forward in a much more efficient manner. we know from ohio that honda, the largest auto industry -- manufacturer, is a non-union shop. so the reality is that there has been as much done by governor kesik in creating a friendly tax environment, friendly investment environment, cut regulations that has helped to make
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businesses grow and employment drop -- unemployment drop in ohio. so look, there's going to be an arm wrestling contest over who should claim credit. i think that this is going to mean that other issues will keep into the equation. and i think the president hags made a fundamental mistake in taking on the catholic church and religious liberty across a lot of faith groups in the state. >> now governor strickland, you know what it's like to go down to defeat in ohio. it of course happened to you in 2010 with john kasich. what kinds of messages and lessons do you think the obama campaign needs in order to win in the buckeye state? >> well, i think people trust president barack obama. i don't think they trust mitt romney. i mean, this is a guy who had a swiss bank account, investments in the cayman islands. said he enjoyed firing people. talked about his wife's two cadillacs. then we saw this videotape where he really talks in the most d d
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about -- people who are working really hard not making enough money to pay federal income tax. he pays 14.1% in his taxes. the average ohioan pays over 20% in their taxes. he still refuses to release his tax returns. all of these things in combination, i believe, have created an accurate picture of mitt romney in the minds of ohioans and americans. and i think that's why he's not doing so well. and i don't think he's going to be able to turn this around in the next 40 or so days. >> on that we disagree. this president is sitting now on top of a $16 trillion debt, which is a triple-headed monster. it is a moral crisis because of the intergenerational debt that's taking place from our kids around our grandkids.
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it's an economic crisis because of the anemic economic growth. last year, last month we only created 96,000 jobs when we need to create 225,000 just to stay afloat. and it's a national security crisis on top of other national security crises because here china holds the largest proportion of our debt in foreign hands. we know they don't agree with us on human rights or basic freedoms. and we also know that their motto is a motto that has run god and faith out of the public square. >> ted strickland, you sound like the obama campaign can just sort of coast. you don't think there's anything they need to do that they're not doing? >> oh, oh, they're doing everything. i mean, the president this year, the vice-president this year
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were working every day, taking our message to ohioans. ken complains about 96,000 jobs being created last month? i just remind him that in the month that president obama became president this country had lost about 750,000 jobs. we've had 30 straight months of economic job growth. and that's why the people of ohio are feeling better. [ overlapping speakers ] >> ted, 23 million people out of work or underemployed in this country. we in fact are now facing a situation where we are going hand -- hat in hand to countries that have put us in the cross hairs of their attacks. this is a real problem. >> we've been going to china borrowing money long before president barack obama became president. and you talk about the deficit?
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the paul ryan budget that mr. romney says is a marvelous budget won't achieve balance until 30 years from now? romney-ryan aren't even fiscally responsible in their plans. all they want to do is to go back to the bush policies. >> let me interrupt. >> the debt just went up astro nommicly under this president. he's moving in the wrong direction. >> thank you both, ted strickland, ken blackwell, appreciate the discussion. thank you. the world is focusing on iran's nuclear program, thanks in part to israel's attention to the issue. but what about israel's nukes? we investigate next.
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at the united nations today, iran's president complained his country is under threat because of what he calls an arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons. when he didn't talk about suspicions iran is working on such weapons, cnn senior international correspondent sarah sidner looks at something else that's usually left unsaid, suspicion that israel already has them. >> reporter: the prospect of iran and the bomb is concern number one for israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu.
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they firmly planted the issue in the u.s. election. even a political ad by an american interest group now running in florida uses this net speech as a center piece. >> the fact is that every day that passes iran gets closer and closer to nuclear bombs. the world tells israel, "wait. there's still time." and i say, "wait for what? wait until when?" >> the world needs american strength, not apologies. >> reporter: while he jabs the u.s. and the rest of the world for not doing enough to stop iran from developing a nuclear weapon, iran complains that the world has allowed israel's secret nuclear program to go unchecked and unchallenged. anti-war activists in israel say their nation is employing a double standard when it comes to
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nuclear policy, and that israel's refusal to hold disarmament talks with its neighbors is a barrier to peace. >> we have something that they can't have. israel is a country that has nuclear weapons and says no to peace initiatives. i think that might seem threatening to others. >> reporter: israeli political scientist gerald steinberg disagrees. >> there's no testing. there's nothing there to say this is a threat to the other countries in the region. iran is exactly the op sichlt israel has defined itself as an exception and is recognized around the world as an exception. it is literally a small country surrounded by enemies that can be overrun in a few hours. >> reporter: so what are some of the contrasts between iran and israel's nuclear programs? iran says its program is solely for peaceful purposes and denies trying to create a bomb. israel will neither confirm nor deny whether it has nuclear weapons. iran allows inspections by the
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international atomic energy agency but has denied the iaea access to its military site where the agency believes iran is developing nuclear triggers. israel has never allowed the iaea to inspect its nuclear facility in the negeb desert. that facility came under suspicion more than 25 years ago when a nuclear technician there leaked photos and inside information "the sunday times." that information prompted analysts back then to estimate israel had already amassed 200 nuclear warheads. iran has signed a nuclear nonproliferation treaty but has been censured for failing to curb its uranium enrichment. israel has refused to sign the treaty. israel's leaders say one of the most glaring differences between israel and iran on the nuclear issue is the language their leaders use. >> we don't call for anyone's
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annihilation. we don't foster terrorism. we don't threaten to obliterate countries with nuclear weapons. but we are threatened with all these threats. >> reporter: iran has never threatened nuclear annihilation. in an interview with cnn's piers morgan, iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad gave a measured answer when asked about the threat of a strike by israel. >> translator: the response of iran is quite clear. i don't even need to explain that. any question and any nation has the right and willingly defense herself. >> reporter: but this month a general who heads iran's islamic revolutionary guard's corps said if israel attacks iran "there will be nothing left of israel." the war of words is creating fear of a regional conflict. in israel people are getting their gas masks and learning how to use them, preparing for the worst. sarah sidner, cnn tel aviv.
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>> tomorrow israeli president benjamin netanyahu will get his chance to address the general assembly. for many going on a cruise is a vacation dream come true. at least on one cruise ship passengers need to lins up. the nasty conditions found on board coming up next. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. i just served my mother-in-law your chicken noodle soup but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she?
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a scary report card for a holland america cruise ship. nasty conditions found inside. sandra endo is here with a list of what they found and it's pretty gross. >> very gross, still, really. we're used to so many
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restaurants having their public health inspection posted, but it's not the same for cruise ships, where klein cleanness is what inspectors found was surprising. >> these pictures show what appeared to be a pristine kitchen in january on board this holland america cruise ship, but last month, this same ship failed a surprise inspection by the centers for decide control. >> it failed and it was sloppy and there is no question that they need to do a better job with that ship. >> in a report, cdc inspectors uncovered numerous sanitation violations. flies during food preparation near the pantry and in the buffet. roach traps in a food cabinet. brown residue inside the water and ice machine. and a cook who had an uncovered go goatee. on a hundred point scale, the ship scored a 77, but an 85 is
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needed to pass. holland america said it's unacceptable, adding the unsatisfactory score is highly unusual and an aberration. since 1996, we have receiveded passing scores. we are confident this will not happen again. these surprise insections happen twice a year. a failing grade is rare. only five ships have failed since 2007. >> it's brutally important for a ship to maintain high standards. it's important if a ship does female the test, the ship may be probted from sailing. >> that's because outbreaks like the nor walk virus. the cdc says many of the violations were immediately fixed within eight hours while docked in new york and the inspectors allowed the
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16-year-old ship to continue sailing. the cdc rates these inspections on every cruise ship and for passengers who want to know how the shipts rate, the cdc has the information on their website. >> so, since 2007, that means this is a very rare occurrence when you get something like this. any threat to passengers? >> it's very rare, so that's the good news. most cruise ships they're on would be pretty clean. and luckily for passengers on this sh, there were no reports of illness, so they didn't seem too affected. >> thanks for that. for a lot of football fans, it's no laughing matter, but some are having fun with the nfl's replacement refs. droid does. and does it launch apps by voice while learning your voice ? launch cab4me. droid does. keep left at the fork. does it do turn-by-turn navigation ?
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here's the video of the day. an amazing look at a head-on collision with a happy ending in russia. the video shows a tractor trailer making a sudden move and then there you see it. the crash. the impact sends is driver of the smaller truck flying out of the windshield, but believe it or not, he walked away unharmed. look at that. incredible. wow. forget about lawyers, politicians or used car sales men. the most hated these days, nfl replacement refs. jeanne moos reports that for the most part, they're a favorite comedy target. >> who are we going to have to kick around -- >> these guys have blown more calls than t mobile. >> when the replacement refs are gone. no more top ten signs you're a
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bad ref. >> missed last three calls because beer vendor was slow giving you change. >> football fans on the internet will have to find someone not wearing stripes to insult. three weeks ago, we worked at foot locker. forget roughing the passer. these days, everyone's roughing the referee. after the so-called failed mary pass that had two refs making opposite calls, even their hand signals were locked. >> it was a hit, like that. >> "new york post" concocted a blind rift with a guide dog, a lacic provider in wisconsin offered free lacic to the refs who officiated at the game. >> obviously, they had some vision issues. >> and if they couldn't see, at least they could hear the parody songs making the rounds instead of call me maybe, minneapolis radio station kfan introduced
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call it maybe. ♪ hey i just met you that play was crazy what's his number i'll call it maybe ♪ >> and a racy wrap song called whistle was turned against the refs. ♪ just bought a whistle baby whistle baby i'm a scab ♪ ♪ it may take me a little longer ♪ >> in green bay, wisconsin, the the home of the packers who lost after the disputed call, wgba brought in a replacement weather guy. >> 200 degrees below today we're looking at. >> get out of here. >> even president obama piled on when a college student with a broken wrist introduced him. the president joked he was injured while playing freese bee. >> it is clear replacement refs
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were in the game. >> jimmy kimmel's game, they asked folks to judge the instant replay. >> i thought both sides had their hands on the ball. >> you are not smarter than a placemref. i'm sorry. you need bigger glasses, i think. >> we've heard free lacic.jeann. >> erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. the attack in libya. the state department story has clarified, elaborated and evolved and tonight, it might be crumbling and mitt romney gets a kick in the well, i'm going to use the word pants. from the latest poll in ohio, but that's not what his team used. and barney frank talks brownies. let's go "outfront."